I told you we would be pink partying. Time for some ROMANCE! What can I say? It’s that season. And with the upcoming release of Heart Bouquets next week, I’m DEFINITELY in the mood!
How about you? Thinking of a past romance, or maybe your precious real-life hero? What about the one who got away? Read Ruth’s story and then by all means share your own!
I “met” Ruth through our co-authored book The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt. What a delightful group of authors! And Ruth’s own true love story is so touching.
Young Loveby Ruth O’Neil
It all began back when I was about 13 years old. I had an older brother and he had friends, naturally. Most of his friends I didn’t care for. I was young, but I knew many of them were trouble makers. I was bratty and tried to convince my parents of that. Then there was Randy. He and my brother had all the things in common that my brother and I didn’t. At first, I didn’t like him at all, but after a while I noticed that he was a little different.
He was a year older than my brother and was getting ready to graduate high school. Since my brother was graduating the following year my parents wanted to help out with the graduation ceremonies. That’s the way it is in small, Christian schools; the parents do all the work. They felt if they helped one year, they could sit and enjoy my brother’s graduation the next year.
They ended up being at school all day, leaving me and my younger sisters at home. Late in the afternoon my dad came to pick us up and bring us to the graduation. I chatted and hung out with my friends not really paying attention to what was going on around me.
Then there was the receiving line for the graduates. I went through and shook everyone’s hand. That didn’t take long because if you know small, Christian schools, the graduating classes are around 10 students. Once again, I was pretty oblivious. Randy was at the end of the line. When I shook his hand something was different. I could feel something I had never felt before, as quickly as it happened. It was
kind of like a buzzing shock, as if Randy was wearing a rank hand buzzer. I kind of looked around to see if anyone else felt it. I looked to Randy who was just looking at me, like the doofus I was. I shook my head and moved on.
Randy was all but forgotten over the summer, but then he showed up back at school the following September. Apparently he had neglected to complete one class so he had to come back and finish. Now I noticed him for sure! And I thought he was cute! As much as I hate to say it, I even flirted with him on the bus. Now what would someone his age, want with someone my age? Here I was a ninth grader, hoping to catch the eye of someone who was technically a college student.
But there was something about me that caught his eye, too.
Toward the end of that school year, in April, we had our annual Arts Festival. This is a time when several schools get together for academic and arts competitions. I was involved in several things and even though Randy wasn’t involved in anything, he showed up anyway. He was at all my competitions, which made me nervous. He sat next to me during some of the singing competitions in the auditorium.
We both had our arms crossed over our chests. It was then that he caught a hold of my finger tips and held them. See, since we were in a Christian school, this was taboo. We did it anyway, as many times as we could throughout the day.
The following Sunday, Randy showed up at our church. He sat next to me and my friends. During the service he passed me a note asking me out. I couldn’t believe it! April 13th would live in my mind forever as the day a boy first wanted me to be his girlfriend! (Disclaimer – This is not something I would recommend for everyone. But God was in it.)
The next two years were a whirlwind. There were some problems, but that is natural when you have two people who are not fully mature and inexperienced in relationships. On my 16th birthday, he asked me to marry him. (See disclaimer above.) Don’t worry; we weren’t planning on getting married the following week, we just knew that we were made for each other.
A couple more years and off to college I went. My mother told me later that this was really the time she thought would decide our future. But it had already been decided. When we noticed that April 13th fell on a Saturday the following year, we knew we had to get married on the anniversary of the day that started it all five years earlier.
People made fun of us because we (I) were so young. They thought we would never last. One woman called my mother complaining about us. One of my fellow employees at work saw Randy one day as he came to meet me for lunch. She said, “That’s the kind of guy that cheats on you.” Oh, how little she knew.
Now 27 years after that first April 13th, we are more in love than ever before. I still have that note he passed me in church, along with all the other notes he’s written since then, hidden away in a safe place. You may be wondering how we managed to hold our relationship together since we were so young. Looking back over the years now we can see where God was at work in us. There are so many things I could say about that, but space is limited. That’s another story for another day.
I’m so glad Ruth jumped into to party mode! You can reach her at the links on her name or book cover, or find her at Facebook!
I’ve still got a few openings if you’ve got a romantic anecdote or sweet memory. Drop me a line! AuthorMarjiLaine(at)gmail(dot)com